London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its center stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.
There are so many things to do in London wether you are traveling by yourself or in a group. Traveling solo allows you to do more of the things you want instead of having to constantly follow the ‘herd.’
There are things for every different type of travel styles from foodies, to history buffs, to modern art and shopping.
- P. Franco – The carousel of rotating chefs at this Hackney wine bar and shop are currently responsible for some of the capital’s most arresting gourmet artistry. This is the pared-back playground for some of the world’s most innovative and peripatetic chefs.
- Kricket – Possibly one of the most exciting developments in London’s food scene has been the Anglo-Indian restaurant revolution, looking to bring more traditional Indian flavors to British palates.
- The Laughing Heart – Head Chef Tom Anglesea serves a new take on contemporary British cuisine, utilising the finest produce available to offer dishes that draw inspiration in flavour from many parts of the world.
For the History Buff
- Charles Dickens Museum – Enthusiasts of English literature find much to appreciate in this fine home, the only one of Charles Dickens’ residences still remaining. “Oliver Twist” and “Nicholas Nickleby” were penned here, and visitors can examine photographs and other items left by the renowned author.
- Churchill War Rooms & Museum – Offering a glimpse of a city under siege, these underground chambers illustrate British efforts to thwart German bombs and hostilities during WWII. They’re where Prime Minister Winston Churchill led the government, coordinated communications, and held out against Nazi aggressions.
- Westminster Abbey – An important architectural and historical stop, Westminster Abbey is where kings and queens are crowned still today and where many famous figures are buried. The cathedral is immensely popular with tourists, so be prepared to wait. Highlights include the Gothic-style nave, built in the 13th century, and the ornate coronation chair.
- Barbican Art Gallery – From acclaimed architects to Turner prize-winning artists, the Barbican Art Gallery presents major exhibitions by leading international figures.
- Saatchi Gallery – Chelsea’s Saatchi Gallery is all about contemporary art, with work by young artists or international artists rarely exhibited in the UK. It will be renamed the Museum of Contemporary Art, London upon the retirement of owner Charles Saatchi, who has donated the gallery’s collection to the nation.
- Serpentine Galleries – Small but perfectly formed, the Serpentine Gallery sits in the middle of Hyde Park. The gallery’s free exhibitions showcase international modern and contemporary art by world-famous artists such as Andy Warhol and Chris Ofili.
- Oxford Street – The heart of London shopping, bustling Oxford Street has more than 300 shops, designer outlets and landmark stores: here you can find some of the best shopping in London. Home to the legendary Selfridges, it also boasts a range of famous department stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams scattered among every well-known high street chain imaginable.
- Covent Garden – Whether you want hip fashion, unique gifts, rare sweets or one-off handmade jewellery, Covent Garden is a great place to explore. Stock up on the latest urban streetwear, funky cosmetics and shoes on Neal Street, check out imaginative arts and crafts at Covent Garden Market or just window shop around the stores.
- Notting Hill – Famous worldwide thanks to the film of the same name, Notting Hill offers a vast array of small, unique shops selling unusual and vintage clothing, rare antiques, quirky gifts, books and organic food. There’s the popular Portobello Road Market – a mile-long (1.6km) street with vibrant stalls set out daily.
Have you been to London on a solo trip? What are your favorite spots?